Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf with Roasted Vegetables

This is a lovely little meatloaf -- plump, round, shaped like an egg, and carefully wrapped in bacon.  It's served with rosemary and sage roasted potatoes, zucchini, peppers, and carrots and the whole bit gets topped with a white wine gravy. It's a bit of a step-up from a regular old homey little meatloaf, and definitely worthy of a casual supper with friends or family.  It's an efficient process: you roast the vegetables right in the pan with the meatloaf, and they absorb much of the flavor from the drippings.  The remaining drippings are turned into a gravy that is both sharp and gentle, thanks to a bit of white wine, and again, cooked right in the same pan.  Thus, this is easy on your palate and on your kitchen sink.

You know how I am a total cookbook hoarder, right?  Well, I'm fairly good and methodical about getting to use all of the books, which means I rarely repeat a recipe.  But I do make this meatloaf quite a bit.  And it's from one of my top five favorite cookbooks: Tessa Kiros's Apples for Jam.  I craved this book for a good year before finally getting it as a birthday gift from my in-laws.  It was worth the wait.  Have you seen it?  It's a gorgeous book, packed with amazing photographs memories of Kiros's childhood.  It's an excellent collection of home cooking: the kinds of things that you remember eating, and that you serve to your family because you want them to have the same memories.  Out of all of my cookbooks, it is one that I have used with great frequency, and one in which I have made many, many of the recipes (and loved them).  If you don't have this, you really should.

Just a few notes for the cook: I've made this before with ground turkey with some good success, though, to tell you the truth, lean ground beef tastes better (I use 90% lean).  I use much less olive oil than Kiros calls for, and can't imagine using more, but if that's your preference, up the olive oil to 6 Tbsp.  Also, we don't eat pork products at home and so we use turkey bacon.  I love it that way, but again, don't shy away from the real thing on my part.  Also, while I love the white wine gravy, my husband would be upset if I didn't suggest slathering your meatloaf with red barbecue sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Roasted Vegetables
serves 4-6
adapted slightly from Apples for Jam, by Tessa Kiros

4 slices white or wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed
1/2 cup milk
2 large zucchini
1 cup baby carrots (or 1-2 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks)
1 bell pepper (any color you choose)
1 potato
3 Tbsp parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, 1 minced, 2 left unpeeled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan
1 1/4 lbs lean ground beef
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 sprigs sage
2 sprigs rosemary
bacon or turkey bacon -- about 6-8 slices
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
up to 1 cup hot water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Soak the crustless bread in a bowl full of the half a cup of milk.  Push it down with your hand from time to time, allowing the bread to fully absorb the milk and turn to mush.  This process takes about 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables into spears, in equal sizes.  Each should be about the size and shape of a baby carrot. 
4. Mush up the bread a bit with your hand.  Add in the parsley, one clove minced garlic, the beaten egg, the 1/2 tsp salt, the crushed red pepper, the Parmesan cheese, and the ground beef.  Mix well with your hand to combine, but don't over mix.
5. In a small stove-top safe roasting pan, add 1 Tbsp of the oil, then swirl the pan around a bit to coat.  Shape the meat mixture in the pan, into an egg shape.  Add the rosemary, sage, and two unpeeled garlic cloves to the pan.
6. Wrap the bacon around the meatloaf, tucking the ends underneath the loaf and overlapping the edges slightly.
7. Arrange the vegetables around the meatloaf, spreading them out so that they do not steam.
8. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the vegetables.
9. Cook for 75 minutes, turning the vegetables midway through.
10. Remove from the oven.  Remove the meatloaf and the vegetables to a large plate.  Cover with foil, and place in the oven to keep warm.
11. Put the roasting pan on the stove, over high heat.  Scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle the flour across the top.  Whisk the mixture well and cook through, to make a roux.
12. Add the white wine.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the alcohol has evaporated.
13. Add the hot water.  I like a thick gravy, and add less water.
14. Serve the meatloaf and vegetables with the gravy across the top.  But do feel free to just skip making the gravy, and to serve with barbecue sauce or ketchup.

I've linked this post with Melt in Your Mouth Mondays at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms.

1 comment:

  1. I've never been a huge meatloaf person... but this looks so good! Anything wrapped in bacon gets an A+ in our house...